Songs, Hymns and Music for Passion Sunday (2 April 2021)

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Strength when people mock you
  • TiS 636 / VU272 / WoV715 / LBW250 / ELW533 / GtG453 / PfAS078C / PfAS078D / URW076 / 82Hml-536 / Lau472 / MP182 God has spoken to his people Alleluia / God has spoken to the people Alleluia (Hasidic traditional) In many versions this song is not inclusive for God, or uses specifically Christian lyrics (which is odd, since it's a Jewish hymn). VU, PfAS GtG and WoV have gender inclusive language for God: "God has spoken to the people (Alleluia), God has spoken words of wisdom, Alleluia". WoV and PfAS also have the traditional Hebrew chorus of "Torah ora torah ora hallelujah" which means "The Lord is light" which would be great to sing and are the original words!  PfAS078D simply uses the first two lines of the first verse as a psalm refrain. The chorus is good for kids. New words to old tunes One version of the lyrics.
  • Iona (M&G, T1AU) / MV099 / GC(II)673 / G(3)763 / Lau996 Stand O Stand Firm (Cameroon) I love having an excuse to sing this simple and powerful song. Very easy for your congregation. You can make up cantor parts too “Oh my sisters…. Oh my brothers… Oh my children….” or you can name countries you are praying for in your intercessions. Good for kids. Scottish sound sample. Lead sheet.
  • Iona (One is the Body) / ATAR601 / MV103 Ka mana'o 'i 'o (Joe Camacho) Hawai'ian song. Fun to sing and good words. The chorus is not too hard to sing in Hawai'ian if you teach it. Nice with guitar and/or ukelele. Lyrics (slide show).
Psalm 31:9-16
God as refuge and redeemer
  • PfAS031A Empty broken lifeless (Shannon Cerneka and Orin Johnson)  A sorrowful chant-like refrain, and verses that should be best sung by a cantor. A good version for Passion Sunday. Lyrics.
  • MV083 / FFS41 Let my spirit always sing (Shirley Murray) Good words about getting old. May be sung to a number of different tunes. A song for those who are aged or infirm. A good song to play in nursing homes, or in congregations with a large proportion of elderly who are wrestling with what it means to live in a body that doesn't do what it used to manage! Lyrics & sheet music
  • O Holy One (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A very simple song for the start of worship. It could be sung altogether as a congregation or responsively. We sang this once last year, would be good to do it again. Sound sample and lyrics. Good for kids.
  • PfAS031C / URW256 (Refrain 2) My times are in your hands (AnnaMae Meyer Bush) A simple two part. This would be worth teaching. (It's not the old chorus) It can be sung on its own, or as a Psalm refrain, or prayer response. Simply: “My times are in your hands. You strengthen me in strife. My hope is in your word. Your love preserves my life.”  Good for kids.
  • Iona / CH788 / MV104 / GtG659 Know that God is Good / Mungu ni mwema (Traditional Congo) This traditional African refrain is just lots of fun and very simple to sing. Good for kids and adults! Sound sample (Scottish). It's a while since we've sung this, but it's great! Lyrics.
  • GtG811 / PfAS031D / URW256 (Refrain 1) Make your face to shine upon your servant / Haz resplandecer tu rostro (Jay Weldon Wilkey) This is a lovely song. It can be sung on its own, or as a Psalm refrain, as in URW (use the section "Make your face to shine… loving kindness save me" as the refrain, and the section beginning "But as for me" at the conclusion of the Psalm). Clunky sound sample.
  • TiS 682 / ATW 490 / GA236 / A&M355 / AA151 / SP148 When human voices cannot sing (Shirley Murray) Lovely words of healing in the face of grief. I prefer this sung to ST COLUMBA, which is the tune in GA and TiS. Lyrics
  • ATAR669 Be my strength (Robin Mann) Words about familiar comforting things, and about becoming older and more frail. Excellent. Lyrics
  • TiS 19 / Iona (PPP&P) / ATOK 339 In you O Lord I have found refuge (John Bell) A simple cantor and response Psalm. Sound sample, and mp3 available to purchase and download.
  • Ps Project Into Your Hands (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A very very very very simple chant. Lyrics and sound sample.
  • CP517 / W&R503 O God your constant care and love (Glen Lanier) Quite good words about God's presence with us through our lives. Sung to a standard hymn tune (WAREHAM or WINCHESTER NEW). Lyrics.
  • TiS 240 / AHB182 / CH393 / StF640 We turn to God when we are sorely pressed (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) Excellent words of our need for God, God's suffering, and God's generosity. Sung to a standard hymn tune. Lyrics and a number of translations. I much prefer the Church Hymnary version to the translations in TiS and AHB.
  • CH725 Today I live one day shall come my death (Fred Kaan) An unusual theme remarking on the inevitability of death and that we have no need to fear it. Lovely tune. Lyrics.
  • StJ / G(II)346 / GC506 / GC(II)508 / G(3)586 You Are All We Have (Francis Patrick O'Brien) A nice refrain and good cantor parts. Somewhat formal. Sound sample, sheet music sample and a different sound sample. 
  • AoV2-070 / ATW 496 / MV090 / StJ / G(3)719 Don't be afraid (John Bell) Excellent. I love this song of reassurance. "Don't be afraid, my love is stronger. My love is stronger than your fear". This song can be used as a response to intercessions. Good for kids. Sheet music. This song could be used as a Psalm response I think.
Philippians 2:5-11
  • TiS 721 / Iona (LFB) / URW431 / StF344 / Lau124 He became poor that we may be rich (John Bell) A simple chant. Timing is a little bit tricky, so you will need to take a little time to teach it initially. This has gorgeous parts if you have some singers. Sound sample.
  • CH348 / StS001 / LBW196 / ELW843 / A&M762 / G(3)625 / CP397 / W&R93 / SP304 / URW090 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness (Rusty Edwards) Good words of Christ's ministry to all. Can be sung to the familiar tune NETTLETON, or the less familiar and very lovely tune JOEL. Lyrics. New words to old tunes     
  • AHB 168 / NCH166 / A&M675 / CP(E) 475 / MP328 Immortal love for ever full (John Greenleaf Whittier) Not all versions are inclusive. This is an older style hymn. A beautiful choral version with video (tune is different to hymnals, but the lyrics are the same). Thist would be nice to listen to!
  • TaizĂ© / MV075 / StS079 / SFFS 2118 / GtG284 / GC(II)479 / G(3)547 / SP99 / URW395 Holy Spirit Come to Us / Veni sancte spiritus / Tui amoris (Jacques Berthier) Best if you have a cantor, but works well if you don't, too. Sheet music, translations, sound samples.
  • TiS 341 / AHB 257 / NCH222 / CH399 / VU143 / A&M147 / WoV661 / LBW094 / ELW782 / SFFS 2083 / HPP329 / GtG209 / PH076 / CP184 / CP(E) 112 / Srce2-426 / 82Hml-458 / Lau752 / StF277 / MP478 My song is love unknown (Samuel Crossman) I really love this old and beautiful song. I prefer it sung to LOVE UNKNOWN. Lyrics. New words to old tunes  
  • O Christ, Lamb of God (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A more modern Agnus Dei, with Christ sharing our weakness. Lyrics and sound sample.
  • TiS 242 / AHB 183 / AoV1-018 / ATN 27 / CH404 / UMH261 / VU352 / A&M667 / HPP163 / GtG157 / PH302 / G(II)481 / GC708 / GC(II)689 / G(3)796 / CP(E) 468 / W&R118 / Lau765 / StF247 I danced in the morning / Lord of the Dance (Sydney Carter). Lyrics and tidbits of info.You all know this one, right? For Passion Sunday, it may be best to stop this partway through, and sing the rest on Easter Sunday. Good for kids Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • GtB God is love and love is giving (Ross Langmead) A simple kids' song about God's love. A round. Sound sample. Good for kids
  • Tune In / Online Resource O Spirit God to you we pray / In the shape of a cross (Dave Brown) A cry to God for help. Free downloadable songbook and sound samples.
  • Online resource / MV047 Born in human likeness (Bruce Harding) A simple Christmas round. Sheet music. Good for kids. 
Matthew 26:14-27:66
See also suggestions for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

  • Online Resource Not on a war horse but on a humble donkey (David Miller) Good words to the familiar tune FINLANDIA. This is one of those hymns for Passion Sunday that reminds us what will happen later in the week - especially appropriate for churches unable to host Holy Week services. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • SFFS 2111 We Sang Our Glad Hosannas (Mary Nelson Keithahn) Good words that follow Christ from Palm Sunday to the Crucifixion. Sung to a hymn tune. 
  • NCH589 / VU679 Let there be light O God of hosts! (Frances Wheeler Davis) Hopeful words seeking an end to war and unity and understanding between nations. Verse 3 "Perish the sword!". Lyrics. History
  • ATOK 335 You rode into Jerus'lem (Leigh Newton) Excellent words - not so much a congregational song, but a story-telling song that could be used as a reflection on Good Friday or Passion Sunday. I love how it puts us in the crowd watching and participating emotionally in the events of Holy Week. Sound sample
  • Online Resource Pray with me the night has come (David Bjorlin) A beautiful song of waiting and watching; sufficiently repetitive for people to sing without lyrics if you would like. Sung to a beautiful old Welsh tune. Lyrics, sheet music sample, sound sample, and purchasing options. New words to old tunes.      
  • Online Resource God is found in teeming jungles (David Bjorlin) A hymn about God being present in all things, including things that do not feel good at the time. Set to the familiar tune PLEADING SAVIOUR. Sheet music sample and options for purchase. New words to old tunes.  
What will you be singing? Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.


Anonymous said...

Philippians 2:5-11 is paraphrased in CP 387 All Praise to Thee (SINE NOMINE)

Caro said...

Leigh Newton has written a beautiful song for Good Friday, called Every Single Stone.
There is a video of the song with images on YouTube here: